Washington: Facing severe criticism for his abrupt decision to withdraw US troops from the strife-torn Afghanistan now under the control of Taliban, President Joe Biden has clarified that talks are on to extend the deadline of complete pull out beyond August 31.
“Discussions are going on among us and the military about extending (Aug 31 evacuation deadline), our hope is, we don’t have to extend. But there going to be a discussion, I suspect on how far along we’re in the process,” Biden said while addressing the media on Sunday.
“We know that terrorists may seek to exploit the situation and target innocent Afghans or American troops. We’re maintaining constant vigilance to monitor & disrupt threats from any source, including ISIS and the Afghan affiliate known as ISIS-K,” Biden added.
When quizzed whether he trusted Taliban or not, he responded, “I don’t trust anybody, including you, I love you but there is not a lot of people I trust. Taliban has to make a fundamental decision.”
Biden does admit that both the withdrawal and evacuation processes have been arduous. “There is no way to evacuate this many people without pain & loss and the heartbreaking images you see, it’s just a fact. My heart aches for those people you see. At the end of the day, if we didn’t leave Afghanistan now, when would we?”
Meanwhile, there are reports that the Taliban negotiators have almost come to an understanding with other stakeholders to form the government. We are watching!